Letter from Our CEO

April 2021


Dear Friends,

This week I had the pleasure of hosting Tel Aviv University (TAU) President, Ariel Porat, and VP of Public Affairs and Resource Development, Amos Elad, in New York City for a busy week of meetings. Their visit was a clear indication that we are finding a new normal which includes travel and face-to-face contact. While research and teaching never stopped at the University during the pandemic, we have not had visitors from Israel for more than a year. Although our quarterly board meeting was virtual, it was a welcome change of pace to take the meeting in our conference room with four other fully vaccinated people.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and this week Tel Aviv University announced a new optical technology that allows for an automatic and immediate melanoma diagnosis. According to Professor Abraham Katzir, whose lab made the discovery, real time diagnosis of melanoma can save lives. The diagnosis is rapid, non-invasive, and painless to the patient, and the technology can distinguish between different types of skin cancers, including benign and malignant legions.

During our board meeting, President Porat shared that Tel Aviv University recently appointed a diversity and inclusion officer, making the University the first in Israel to have this position. Professor Neta Ziv, the academic director of The Israel Affordable Housing Center and The Institute for Law and Philanthropy at TAU's Buchmann Faculty of Law, will take on the role to ensure that all students, especially those who are under-represented, disabled, or part of ethnic minorities, will have access to a first-rate education. Having someone in this new position will further strengthen TAU as an academic leader, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to making higher education accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic background, disability, or other barriers.

Bringing about positive change in the world is an integral part of the University's DNA. Given that today's issues tend to be multi-faceted, it is through building bridges between various disciplines that change will happen. A joint program between Google and TAU, "AI for Social Good," promotes AI-related multidisciplinary research for the benefit of society. The program aims to support research and collaborations in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence that can advance humanity by addressing social issues on the global agenda. It was launched within the framework of the TAU Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, which was established in February.

The Buchmann–Mehta School of Music (BMSM) at Tel Aviv University has a unique partnership with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) and is considered one of the world's most elite music education programs. The school's mission is to train outstanding musicians and to create future members of the IPO. I am pleased to share this musical interlude featuring Professor Tomer Lev and students at the school. I encourage you to take ten minutes to listen to the beautiful performances.

Being able to share the incredible discoveries and successes from Tel Aviv University fills me with pride. Your support and interest in reading about the news from the University continues to encourage our team. Thank you for being our partners and our friends.

Wishing you a shabbat shalom.

Jennifer Gross
Chief Executive Officer